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31 October 2023, 3:31 UTC Share

Rapid Evidence Assessments: a guide for commissioners, funders, and policymakers

A guide to support policy organisations who are facing an urgent policy decision to commission a rapid evidence assessment.

Do you face an urgent policy decision and need a quick overview of research to boost confidence in your decision? A Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) can give you this. REAs provide a structured and transparent search, quality assessment, and synthesis of available research. 

This guide talks you through everything you need to know about how to commission a REA that meets your needs. It is not intended as a technical how-to guide aimed at researchers, but aims to help you as a commissioner. The guide aims to give you a feel for the entire review process, to inform your tender document, and help you ask searching questions of the review teams, to create a final review that balance between rapidity and rigour.

This guide was produced in collaboration with the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO), Rapid Research Evaluation and Appraisal Lab (RREAL).

About CAPE

Capabilities in Academic Policy Engagement (CAPE) is a knowledge exchange and research project funded by Research England from 2020-2024, which has been exploring how to support effective and sustained engagement between academics and policy professionals. The project is a partnership between UCL and the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Northumbria and Nottingham in collaboration with the Government Office for Science, the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, Nesta and the Transforming Evidence Hub.

About CAPE resources

CAPE’s resources have been developed collaboratively with their policy partners and using practice-based experience. The toolkits and guides are designed to be flexible so they can be adapted to meet the specific needs of different university and policy systems. All resources are intended as an entry point into addressing common challenges in academic-policy engagement and to inspire new and deeper forms of engagement.  The CAPE team encourage practice-based feedback on all CAPE resources, to improve their efficacy and to ensure that future resources cover the needs in academic-policy engagement. Get in touch here.


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